Fri10242014

News

Council hosts study session on downtown parking garage

Council hosts study session on downtown parking garage


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
The Los Altos City Council continues to explore options to address parking constraints in the downtown triangle.

The Los Altos City Council last week held the first of two study sessions to discuss the potential construct...

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Schools

LAHS Science and Technology Week features medical examiner

LAHS Science and Technology Week features medical examiner


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
A Los Altos High School student learns how to use robotic surgical equipment at the school’s Science and Technology Week event last year. Students can also attend hands-on presentations at this year’s event, w...

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Community

Ahoy, matey: Pirate Manor ramps up Halloween display

Ahoy, matey: Pirate Manor ramps up Halloween display


Town Crier File Photo
Pirate Manor is once again scheduled to arrive in the front yard of Dane and Jill Glasgow’s home on Manor Way in Los Altos, just in time for Halloween.

Although not the Walking Dead, pirate skeletons have been brought to li...

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Sports

Lancers rule the pool against Spartans

Lancers rule the pool against Spartans


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
St. Francis High’s Eric Reitmeir launches the ball over Mountain View High driver David Niehaus (2) and goalie Kenny Tang. The host Lancers won Friday’s non-league game 9-3.

There wasn’t a lot on the line Friday when ...

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Comment

Reeder, Fung for El Camino HCD: Editorial

The good news for the El Camino Healthcare District (formerly the El Camino Hospital District, for those still getting used to the new name) is that there is a contested election Nov. 4 for the district’s board of directors. Three candidates are runn...

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Special Sections

Plant-based diet offers benefits

Plant-based diet offers benefits


Photo by Ramya Krishna
Los Altos resident Nandini Krishna prepares a meat-free dish According to author Caldwell B. Esselstyn Jr., M.D., a plant-based diet can help prevent cancer.

Shirley Okita of Los Altos has found that adhering to a mostly plant...

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Business

New shop offers haute couture for girls

New shop offers haute couture for girls


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
The Girls @ Los Altos at 239 State St. offers clothing lines such as Nellystella as well as toys and other items for girls.

Cecilia Chen opened The Girls @ Los Altos as a tribute to the party dress. Whether it’s for...

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Books

Helping kids catch a few Zs: Local dental hygienist pens meditative bedtime book

Helping kids catch a few Zs: Local dental hygienist pens meditative bedtime book


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Mimi Sommers, who works at a Los Altos dentist’s office, recently wrote a children’s book.

A local dental hygienist recently published a book that aims to ease parents and children during a sometimes anxious e...

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People

BARBARA DARLING MERIDETH

1946-2014

Born in Palo Alto, raised in Los Altos, retired in southern Oregon. Survived by Peter James Merideth, sons Matthew, Jacob and John Merideth, the loves of her life.

She was a housewife who took great pride in her home, her surroundings and...

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Travel

Falling leaves: Four places in California to see autumn colors

Falling leaves: Four places in California to see autumn colors


Courtesy of Castello di Amorosa
Castello di Amorosa in Calistoga, above, boasts a beautiful setting for viewing fall’s colors – and sampling the vineyard’s wines.

Yes, Virginia, there is fall in California.

The colors pop out in...

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Stepping Out

'Sleepy Hollow' awakens at Bus Barn

'Sleepy Hollow' awakens at Bus Barn



Los Altos Youth Theatre’s production of “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow,” a musical based on Washington Irving’s classic story, is set to run through Nov. 2 at Bus Barn Theater. The cast comprises 27 young actors, directed by Cindy Powell. Courtesy o...

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Spiritual Life

Magazine

Local events add color to autumn calendar

Local events add color to autumn calendar


Van Houtte/town crier Visitors make their way through the Children’s Alley.

As Los Altos’ signature Chinese Pistache trees exchange their summer green for vibrant hues of yellow, orange and red in the fall, an abundance of local events also ad...

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From cavities to cuffs: Longtime reserve police officer spends days as dentist


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Dr. Steve Marshall converses with Los Altos residents while working a shift as a reserve officer for the Los Altos Police Department.

On most days, Dr. Steve Marshall can be found performing myriad dental-related services. On Fridays, however, Marshall is known in Los Altos by an entirely different title – officer.

That’s because Marshall is one of five reserve police officers regularly used by the Los Altos Police Department to augment patrols and other public safety services. Marshall can typically be found most Fridays patrolling the city in his cruiser or policing events like the annual Los Altos High Homecoming Parade and the Arts & Wine Festival.

Marshall, often referred to by his police colleagues as “Doc,” noted that while the arrangement may seem a tad unusual to some, the ability to play two distinctly different roles suits him just fine.

“They all provide me with a great deal of satisfaction,” said Marshall, who has operated his family dentistry practice in Sunnyvale since 1977. “When I walk in my office, I’m Dr. So and So, and I’m in charge of everybody. Every single question gets run by me. Here, I’m just one of the guys. That’s a different thing … I don’t have to be in charge. In some ways, that’s refreshing.”

And while he has nearly four decades of experience as a dentist, Marshall also happens to be one of the longest-tenured officers on the police force with 25 years of service.

“He’s definitely one of the elder statesmen in our organization,” Police Chief Tuck Younis said with a chuckle. “But he’s the epitome of what I want in a Los Altos police officer. He’s someone who cares about the community, he’s invested in the community and he’s approachable.”

A chance encounter

Marshall recalled his introduction to police work, noting that one of his dental hygienists became engaged to a Los Altos police officer, who in turn offered Marshall the opportunity to ride along with him during a shift one day in 1987.

“I was listening to his police stories and I thought that sounded exciting … so I jumped in his car and we had a great time,” Marshall said.

After the ride-along, Marshall expressed an interest in police work and was encouraged to speak to then-Los Altos Police Sgt. Jim Malatesta about the possibility of joining the department as a reserve. The meeting, he noted, also happened to be a chance encounter between two former high school classmates – the two men attended Fremont High in Sunnyvale around the same time.

“We both went home and looked – we had signed each other’s yearbooks,” Marshall said with a grin.

Soon after, Marshall attended reserve police academy training at night, graduating more than a year later before starting a secondary career as a level I reserve officer in Los Altos. Marshall said his career decision is one he looks back on fondly – even if it was somewhat unexpected initially.

“I always admired police officers, and I always respected police officers, but I never saw myself becoming a police officer,” he added. “But it was community service. The thought of doing something that was a positive thing and something that was helpful to people – it certainly fit those criteria.”

An asset to police

Younis emphasized that reserve officers play a “critical role” in the department. Specifically, he noted that level I reserves like Marshall perform many of the same functions as full-time officers, such as performing traffic patrol, securing crime scenes and gathering evidence.

Full-time police department members consider Marshall – as well as other reserve officers – one of their own, according to Younis.

“They are viewed as fully integrated members of this organization,” Younis said. “(The regular officers) trust them with their lives – that’s the truest compliment.”

“I think we feel like we have to earn that respect, and we also covet it,” Marshall said.

Although he is quick to express his passion for police work, Marshall readily conceded that dentistry also offers many satisfying elements, such as his drive to fix things. Dentistry, Marshall added, offers an element of instant gratification not found in other medical careers.

“In dentistry, you have the advantage of not waiting for the person to heal,” said Marshall, who previously worked in forensics, allowing him to combine his professional backgrounds. “You can take it, fix it, and when you’re done and that person stands up, it’s better than it was before. That’s very satisfying right there.”

Marshall said that though he doesn’t regularly share the fact that he’s an officer with his dental patients – and vice versa in his role as an officer – he’s proud of his work in both professions. As for the future, Marshall has no plans to slow down, even with more than two decades years of police work under his belt.

“It’s been a great 25 years,” he said, “and I’m still having a great time.”

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